« How one Florida senator predicted a Trayvon Martin-like case in 2005 | Main | Black lawmakers say Scott response too late, want 'Stand Your Ground' amended »

Trayvon Martin's hometown Sen., Oscar Braynon, calls for hearings into Stand Your Ground law

Florida Sen. Oscar Braynon, who represents the Miami Gardens district where Trayvon Martin's mother lives, is calling for legislative hearings into the Stand Your Ground law implicated in the shooting death of the 17-year-old child in Sanford last month.

The law, passed in 2005, expands the rights of people to use deadly force in public if they feel threatened during a confrontation. If a shooter such as George Zimmerman invokes the law, and no witnesses can dispute his claim of feeling threatened, police are all but forbidden from arresting him (background on the law here).

Braynon says that's a problem.

"The Legislature needs to take a look at Stand Your Ground," Braynon told The Miami Herald. "This is a perfect case of where it goes awry. This could only be the beginning of more problems down the road. It has unintended consequences. When the Legislature passed this in 2005, I don't think they planned for people who would go out and become vigilantes or be like some weird Batman who would go out and kill little kids like Trayvon."

The shooting has gripped the national news media's attention. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to examine the case. The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating as well. (That story here)

Braynon said he's drafting a letter to incoming Florida Senate President Don Gaetz to ask for legislative hearings into the law, how it's worked and how to improvem or scrap it. Braynon, an African-American legislator, also plans to ask the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators to unite behind his call for hearings.

"As we see, this law could  disproportionately affect the African American population," Braynon said. "We know how racial profiling goes. If you feel intimidated by someone, you can pull a gun on someone and shoot them? That's not the kind of law we need."

Update: Here's the letter he just sent Download Braynon

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

nicole

Even if Zimmerman claims he felt "threatened" by Trayvon, there are half a dozen 911 recordings from the shooting, one of which you can clearly hear Trayvon begging for his life. This whole incident is absurd, and I can't believe this law is actually protecting that scumbag Zimmerman!

brenda

How could they not have known such a law as the SYG law would bring out the lunatics, bigots and wannabes in force from under the rocks? For sure, our elected officials couldn't possibly be that naive or outright dumb. Could they? Let's see, this America where brown and black skin is still a "suspicion" in many parts of the land. That's FLORIDA in the south where such incidents were once the norm. Dah! This SYG law was a tragedy compounded waiting to happen. Surely, it's happen before in Florida and elsewhere minus the natinal and internationl attention this tragedy got.
From all that's emerging, seems like Zimmerman and his fellow watch "comrades" were behaving more like unrestricted, unrestrainted terrorists roaming inside that gated community rather than a disogranized watch group.

Vince

Even with the "stand your ground" law, to me, it appears it was violated. Zimmerman initiated the confrontation !!! I don't get it ??

G Schmidt

Before we tried this case in the press, I have the following questions
-Was this neighborhood a heavy victim of crime that justified Zimmermann over reaction.
-Is there any evidence, one way or another, that Trayvon did/did not violently confronted Zimmermann?

It is sad that a young apparently innocent boy died, but let us have a proper investigation before we all jump to conclusions

John

No matter what happens certain minorities always claim to be severely impacted by laws.

How about if we find out if the shooter broke the law before we decide the law is a mistake.

Chris

John and G Schmidt - Unfortunately, it appears you are the one that hasn't been looking into the subject. From Zimmermann's own limited statements, eye-witnesses to the event, and the 911 calls, Zimmermann definitely initiated the confrontation having actually chased the boy down. He is clearly using a very loose definition of the "stand your ground" law to protect himself.

The reality is, without the "stand your ground" law, Zimmermann would have been arrested immediately while the event was investigated. The fact that he has not been arrested and seriously interviewed raises huge questions.

I realize the two of you are worried about others coming to conclusions, but, in this case, the two of you are jumping to conclusions of innocence when the facts definitely point to troubling issues.

B K

I don't know about you, but I've NEVER in my life heard a shooter, provoked or criminal scream for help while attacking their victim. Those 911 calls clearly show who was wrong. ZIMMERMAN

Miguel

Sen Oscar Braynon should be worried about the high level of gang related crime in Miami Gardens first. But I guess Treyvon Martin gives him more relevance than actually doping something useful.

Kyrondo

@Miguel
1) How do you know he is not worried abt crime in his district.
2) The child of one of his constituents was murdered under the color of law; he is a legislator; its his job to evaluate the effectiveness of state law.

Ed Crumpton

The law didn't kill this kid. Some no-neck mouth-breathing reject from society did. Prosecute this miserable piece of crap, and leave the law alone.

And the idiotic policemen should leave interpreting the law to people who actually have degrees. Their job is to make arrests. Let people with brains sort out who is guilty and who isn't.

Packard Day

Aside from being obviously dead, I would like to ask, who was TRAYVON Martin?

Is there anyone from either Norland or Carol City HS who knew the boy? If so, I would like to hear something about him.


SF

THIS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH "STANDING YOUR GROUND". ZIMMERMAN CHASED DOWN A BLACK KID AND MURDERED HIM. ZIMMERMAN IS A RACIST AND THIS IS A HATE CRIME. WHY IS HE NOT IN JAIL?!?!?!

david

Even if Zimmerman claims he felt "threatened" by Trayvon, there are half a dozen 911 recordings from the shooting, one of which you can clearly hear Trayvon begging for his life.

Rick

Due to the BOTCHED investigation by the Sanford PD, are we even sure he was shot in the chest and not in the back???

Witnesses say that Martin was laying FACEDOWN in the grass dead, with Zimmerman nervously pacing over the body while talking to 911 and stating he shot the boy dead.

Barry

People need to wait to hear all the facts. The only ones talking are the parents and the people that are helping to mak up stories to fit their own agenda. I live in Sanford near the area and it was not raining that day or night, but the family is saying that it was to explain why he was wearing a hoodie over his head and creeping around this neighborhood. Sanford is full or crime and hoodlums like this kid. Why is no one asking the question as to why the parents are showing an old photo, not a recent one of the 17 year old, in the picture he was like twelve and it would look nothing like his current mug shot!!! Also Zimmerman was beaten up by this hoodlum, when the police arrived he had a bloodied nose and bruises from the little gang banger. When the investigation results are finally released from the Sanford PD, the truth will come out !!Zimmerman had cause to kill because he was threatend and did everything according to the law.

J

Interesting comments there, Barry, and all others prior to. The stand your ground law was a step in the right direction for those of us who actually want to be able to lawfully defend ourselves no matter where we might be as we travel about normally living our lives. Based on the 911 calls alone it is quite clear that Zimmerman pursued Martin until an encounter ensued, in other words Zimmerman forced the issue. Folks, that isn't what the definition of stand your ground means. You can't chase someone down in order to start an upset and then later claim self defense. And Martin can be heard crying for help before the gunshot. The aftermath is just a matter of mis-management by authorities.

The comments to this entry are closed.